- We partner with community or cause organizations to teach and support them in mobilizing and organizing their community to bring about the change they seek.
- We facilitate organizations’ evaluation and strategy sessions based on their journey and metrics.
- We train constituency groups or leaders on agency, motivation, organizing and campaigning.
- We coach campaign and movement leaders on organizing practices. and shares relevant experiences from other campaigns and movements.
With that in mind, below is a description of what we offer.
PUBLIC NARRATIVE WORKSHOP
Agency, Motivation, Leadership, Meaning Making, and Team Spirit – In this workshop, participants develop and share their full public narrative to renew their motivation, communicate their values, and call others to join them in action. Participants develop their story of self (their calling and source of motivation), their story of us (the community’s story and its shared values), and the story of now (the urgent action). Participants also learn to coach others stories and receive coaching- coaching that is empowering to the other. This training is useful for the individual as a leadership skill and useful for a group coming together to launch a joint path of action, or coming together to re-examine their collective identity and the values, or a group looking for motivation and re-commitment.
COMMUNITY ORGANIZING WORKSHOPS
Organized Scalable Purposeful Collective Action– In this set of workshops, participants learn how to organize a campaign and how to build a movement – essential to both is how to protect motivation, momentum and commitment. Examples of the workshops in this series include the basic Community Organizing training on the 5 main practices, specific skills workshops on public narrative, recruitment, motivational task design, tactic development, team management, setting metrics and database. These workshops are designed for those engaged in grassroot public action or those interested in evolving their leadership skills although not currently leading a campaign or part of a movement.
Trying, Learning and Winning– This is a journey for Ahel alongside the campaign. Ahel’s intervention can be in one-on-one coaching, in facilitating conversations and tensions, in relaying best practices from other campaigns, and in training on specific skills. Ahel starts with a campaign’s core team to conceptualize the campaign in the Story, Strategy, Structure (SSS) workshop, then works with the core team on identifying, testing and recruiting second tier leadership. From there it moves to organizing an induction workshop for the recruited leadership to teach community organizing. Ahel’s main priority then is to stabilizing the formed teams and ensuring effectiveness and purpose becomes the core team y. As that structural work is happening, Ahel is coaching the campaign on strategy, planning peaks, and rolling out tactics. To do that and maintain motivation, Ahel supports the campaign in developing its database and metrics. Campaigns will naturally face challenges or opposition, so they will need to learn, re- strategize and clarify their culture and keep the team spirit up. That is why we run many learning and evaluation sessions, and give extra attention to planning good all members gatherings. With some organizations, campaigns or movements, we choose some of their team members and help them become coaches and trainers and we soon decrease our engagement. In other organizations, campaigns and movements, we place one of Ahel’s members in the core team as an organizer depending on the leadership present in the core team.
TEAM FACILITATION & COACHING
Coaching and team facilitation are two essential leadership practices in organizing community action. Ahel trains leaders and team coordinators on coaching others through a five step cycle that starts with active listening and asking to understand whether the challenge is motivational (heart), strategic (head), or practical (hands) and then intervening accordingly. Ahel also trains leaders on group facilitation skills using skits and role plays followed by reflection. After the training, Ahel may shadow the coordinators in actual team facilitation to reflect and practice further.
ORGANIZATIONS’ JOURNEY: EVALUATION & METRICS
An organization’s full story with its highs and lows reveals patterns, lessons, and achievements. We collaboratively author the organization’s story and use it as a starting point for the workshop with the community based organizations or cause organizations. We then look into what the organization has achieved in three areas of success: 1. change accomplished 2. size and nature of the the built community 3. quality/quantity of individuals learnings. Together with insight into the organization’s metrics, this process allows the organization to reflect deeply on its community engagement and its contribution to building the power of its constituency. It paves the way for essential strategic or structural decisions.
CASE STUDIES & DOCUMENTATION OF BEST PRACTICES
Nothing in the history books and our memory on collective action– Ahel documents cases of Arab campaigns and movements with the objective of creating a body of knowledge for other activists and change agents. Starting with the chronology, then the political and social context, and ending with the actual story. The lessons learned and conclusion with some reference for further reading. These pieces go on Ahel and Mujtama3i’s website or elsewhere depending on the stakeholders.
LEARNING SERIES FOR ACTIVISTS & CHANGE AGENTS
This is a tailor made program for activists belonging to the same cause or perhaps the same campaign. It could take the form of weekly meetings that bring out what the activists’ experience has taught them on context, discourse, strategy, campaign planning, tactics, motivation, opposition, coalitions and other titles. This series serves two purposes: teaching the activists and learning from them. It also opens the learning space for activists to deal with tensions and differing opinions between them in a constructive way.